1751-1825. Bortniansky's musical career began in the church choir. As a young man, he studied with Baldassare Galuppi (il Buranello) in St. Petersburg. In 1769, Bortniansky followed Galuppi to Italy (with the help of a stipend from Russian Empress Catherine) to work in opera. His productions included Creonte (1776), Alcide (1778), and Quinto Fabio (1778).

After returning to Russia, he became master of the court choir in St. Petersburg. In 1796, he was appointed director of the czar's court chapel and a councilor of state. In addition to his other duties, he composed liturgical music, and wrote operas with French texts: La fete du seigneur (1786), Le faucon (1786), and Le fils-rival (1787). After his death, his work spread to Prussia, where his music appeared in AltpreuЯische Agende (Old Prussian Agenda) in 1829. His tune "St. Petersburg/Wells" is a traditional closing piece for the GroЯer Zapfenstreich (ceremonial tattoo) in German military music.

He wrote 3 operas, Concert Symphony, ensembles, 6 Sonates for Piano, over 100 choral works, including double choirs, patriotic anti-Napoleon chants.